Making a dramatic switch in offensive philosophy, the Salem High School football team didn't want to show a lot in its season-opener last Friday.
Houston, however, saw plenty.
Salem, under first-year head coach Brian McNamee, began the 2013 campaign by blasting Houston 48-16 Friday in South-Central Association (SCA) action.
McNamee, who took over for the retired Bill Schuchardt, replaced the wishbone attack that Salem has used for 32 years with the spread offensive formation.
However, with this week's opponent (Plattsburg) watching McNamee didn't want to show a lot. So, like the old wishbone, Salem stayed on the ground most of the time against Houston with big success.
Sophomore quarterback Dylan Wisdom did connect on all four of his pass attempts for 94 yards and a TD. But Salem also rushed for 250 yards on 27 attempts to finish with 344 yards of total offense despite having the mercy clock starting to run 30 seconds into the second half.
"I was real excited, especially for our young quarterback," McNamee said. "Our offensive line gave him a lot of time to throw and our receivers ran good routes and caught the ball. And our running game really set up the pass. We had real good balance in the backfield.
"And I was proud of our defense; it was a shutout while our varsity was in there."
Zayne Kyser, a road-grading junior running back, did the most damage, scoring five touchdowns and three 2-point conversions.
Kyser rushed for 100 yards on 11 carries while sophomore Derek McClain rushed for 98 yards on eight carries.
Salem took a 20-0 lead in the first period on TD runs of seven yards by Wisdom and 17 and seven yards by Kyser. Kyser then scored on a one-yard plunge and added the two-point conversion to make it 28-0 at halftime.
Kyser scored again on a 28-yard run 30 seconds into the third period.
Later in the third quarter junior Paul McClain caught a six-yard TD pass from Wisdom and Kyser scored on a seven-yard run to give Salem a 48-0 lead entering the fourth period.
Houston scored twice against the Salem junior varsity.
Salem takes on Plattsburg at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Due to the distance between the two schools, the game will be held at a neutral in Salsbury.
In other games involving schools from area conferences:
West Plains 14, Waynesville 13: At West Plains, the host Zizzers snapped a 31-game Ozark Conference losing streak dating back to 2009. It also ended West Plains' victory drought of 21 consecutive regular-season games.
Waynesville opens the home portion of its schedule this Friday, hosting Lebanon in another conference game, starting at 7 p.m. It will be the Tigers' first varsity game on its new home field, located behind Waynesville High School. West Plains will play at Camdenton this week.
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Camdenton 17, Hillcrest 14: In the first big Ozark Conference showdown of the season Camdenton, the league favorite in the preseason coaches poll, clipped defending co-champion Springfield Hillcrest.
At Camdenton, Laker running back Luke Burris scored on a one-yard TD run for the game-winning score in the fourth quarter.
Hillcrest, ranked No. 8 in last week's Missouri Class 4 state poll, led 14-10 at halftime, as senior Matt Rush returned an interception 75 yards for a TD. Rush, the Hornet QB, also had a 25-yard run earlier in the second quarter.
The Lakers, ranked No. 7 in last week's Class 5 state poll, scored on a 54-yard interception return in the first period and later got a 27-yard field goal from Mason Bennett.
Burris rushed for 162 yards on 30 attempts for the Lakers, who lost QB Bo Dean in the second half with a concussion. Rush had 235 all-purpose yards for Hillcrest, which committed three turnovers, missed a field goal attempt and was whistled for nine penalties.
This week Hillcrest plays at Springfield Glendale.
Park Hills Central 3, Sullivan 0: In non-league action at Sullivan, Central's Jake Bridges booted a 24-yard field goal as time expired in the first half for the game's only score.
The Sullivan Eagles had just 37 yards of total offense and completed just 1-of-8 passes. Park Hills Central had 155 offensive yards.
Sullivan, ranked No. 10 in last week's Class 4 state poll and the defending Four Rivers Conference champion, plays at Festus in another non-league game Friday.
Mtn. Grove 38, Rogersville 0: In non-conference action at Rogersville, the Mountain Grove Panthers, ranked No. 5 in last week's Class 2 state poll, threw a shutout, leading 19-0 at halftime and 32-0 heading into the fourth period.
Senior quarterback Bobby Otwell hit on 7-of-8 passes for 124 yards and a TD and rushed for 73 yards and a TD for the Panthers, who had 447 yards of total offense, including 323 yards on the ground. Five Mountain Grove players scored. Rogersville had just 38 yards of total offense.
Liberty 60, Caruthersville 28: The non-league clash of state-ranked teams at Caruthersville became a blowout. Caruthersville, ranked No. 3 in last week's Class 2 state poll, took the early, 12-0 first-quarter lead. The Liberty Eagles of the SCA, ranked No. 2 in last week's Class 2 state poll, responded with four touchdowns in the second quarter, three more in the third and two more in the fourth.
Liberty senior QB Jaclon Acklin hit on 14-of-19 passes for 290 yards and five TDs and rushed for 108 yards and two more scores. Senior James Denton caught eight passes for 239 yards and five touchdowns and also threw a 32-yard TD pass. Junior Bryan Porter rushed for 101 yards for the Eagles.
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Kickapoo 39, Parkview 25: In Ozark Conference action at Kickapoo, the Parkview Vikings took a 10-0 first-quarter lead but the Chiefs erupted for 19 points in the second period and 14 in the third to take a 33-10 edge into the fourth period. Five different players scored the first five TDs for Kickapoo. Chief QB Anthony Cooper had a 68-yard TD run and 73-yard TD pass while Kelton Reeves had a 57-yard punt return and John Fuchs a 30-yard scoring run.
This week Kickapoo plays at Rolla while Parkview is at Joplin.
Joplin 21, Glendale 11: In Ozark Conference play at Springfield, junior running back Adam Norsworthy rushed for 196 yards and two TDs – including an 82-yarder – while QB Tristan Ash had a 28-yard scoring run for the Joplin Eagles. Tyler Marion passed for 188 yards for Glendale.
Borgia 26, Owensville 6: In non-league action at Owensville the host Dutchmen dropped their 13th straight game. St. Francis Borgia broke open a scoreless game with three TDs in the third period. Owensville scored in the fourth period on a Dalton Chapman one-yard run. The Dutchmen play another non-conference game at Blair Oaks.
Washington 24, St. Clair 15: The Blue Jays staged a second-half comeback to win in non-league play. St. Clair took a 15-0 first-quarter lead on a nine-yard pass from Ian McQueen to Collin Scott and a 47-yard run by Scott. Washington scored on big plays, with Kyle Summers scoring on runs of 58, 42 and 45 yards and Seth Bollmann scored on a 57-yard pass from Isaac Lippert. St. Clair turned it over twice in the third period. St. Clair hosts DeSoto this week.
Pacific 28, DeSoto 21: In non-league play at Pacific, after falling behind 14-0 in the first period, the host Indians scored two TDs in the second period and one in each of the third and fourth periods. Pacific scored on one- and three-yard runs by Tanner Brown, an 18-yard run by Eain Roberts and on a 45-yard interception return by Jeff Hinkle. Pacific plays at Potosi in another non-league game this week.
Ash Grove 57, Cabool 25: In non-league action, Ash Grove led 14-6 after one period, 27-12 at halftime and 43-19 heading into the fourth quarter. QB Sean Mulkey had four TD passes while running back Logan Allred had TD runs of four, eight, seven and 18 yards for the winners.